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PRESS CONFERENCE – England update with Lancaster and Rowntree

04 January 2012

  • Stuart Lancaster chats to the media about selection and the training camp
  • We’re building a squad for the future – Lancaster

Two-thirds of England’s coaching trio, Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree, appeared in Loughborough today to update the media on the latest developments surrounding selection and planning of the pre-RBS 6 Nations training camp.

With the pair – alongside backs coach Andy Farrell – picking their first Elite Player Squad on Wednesday, January 11, their most pressing challenge is selection and Lancaster outlined the process the coaches have been going through.

Pointing out the drive to choose players who fit their coaching philosophy, Lancaster said: "What we’ve set out to achieve is watching, selecting, listening and monitoring.

"And we’ve been looking at players with relevance to our philosophy. From an England point of view, one of the things we need to do is have a clear philosophy about how we want to play and a clear philosophy on where we want to take the squad.

"We’re building a squad for the future and that’s not to say we’re going to take away all the players who were part of the recent world cup, but equally it’s a look to the future for this Six Nations programme.”

The new squad will assemble for the first time at the pre-RBS 6 Nations training camp from January 23-27, which Lancaster announced will take place in Leeds.

Outlining the rationale behind moving the camp from Portugal, he added: "We’ve been looking at the environment and how to create a different feel for the team and the squad.

"What we want to do is end up reconnecting with the game and part of that reconnection – which I feel we’ve lost slightly – is by training in this country. I think North Leeds offer us the opportunity to reconnect with the grassroots game, ultimately all players come from grassroots rugby."

Lancaster and Rowntree went on to discuss two news stories relevant to the selection that have broken today: Danny Care’s removal from the selection process after an arrest on suspicion of drink driving; and Scarlets’ Bristol-born No.8 Ben Morgan opting to make himself available for to play for England.